Classic German apple torte recipe with a shortbread-like base, a vanilla quark layer and an apple and almond topping. This apple dessert is a classic and classics definitely stand the test of time. It’s perfect for anytime enjoyment or for entertaining, too.
Ingredient tips for a German Apple Torte:
Quark: Full fat quark (40%) is needed here, as low-fat versions contain additional moisture that will not bake up in the same way. If quark is not available then it can be substituted with cream cheese or ricotta.
Vanilla sugar: I use vanilla sugar made with natural unrefined sugar and pure bourbon vanilla — the king of spices. I find this tastes much better than vanilla sugar made with refined white sugar and vanilla aroma.
Apples: Any apple that’s good for baking will work here. I used a mix of Gala and Elstar apples here.
Flour: I most always use spelt flour for baking cakes like this. It has a sensitive gluten structure, so it should not be over-mixed.
Sugar: I used my favourite sugar for coating the apples. natural whole cane mascobado sugar. It has a terrific caramel-like flavour. For the base I used super-fine white sugar as I wanted a sugar that has very fine crystals. A non-refined sugar can be replaced here, or you can give Rohrohrzucker a quick whiz in the blender to make the crystals finer.
If you don’t have a springform tart pan you can also use a regular springform pan. Or if you have neither, then a ceramic tart dish can also be used. The slices may not come out of the pan as gracefully, but they will still taste delicious!
German Apple Torte
A classic apple dessert, with a shortbread-like base, a vanilla quark layer and cinnamon and brown sugar spiced apple and almond topping. An easy to make, anytime kind of dessert that everyone loves.
- 110 g butter (unsalted), room temperature
- 60 g superfine sugar (4 EL)
- pinch pure vanilla powder
- 140 g spelt flour (type 630)
- 1 package bourbon vanilla sugar (10 g)
- 1 large egg
- 250 g full fat quark (40 %) (alternative cream cheese or ricotta)
- 1 tablespoon spelt flour (type 630)
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced (not too thin, see notes)
- 50 g soft brown sugar (I recommend unrefined Mascobado from GEPA)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (ceylon)
- 3 tablespoon sliced almonds (optional)
Preheat oven to 220°C. Grease a springform tart pan (Ø 24 cm) with butter.
Cream together butter, sugar, vanilla with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the flour and beat together until JUST combined, and forms a dough. Do not overmix.
Press the crust mixture into the flat bottom the springform pan, with 2,5 cm up the side of the pan. Set aside. (dust fingertips in flour, if necessary to stop from sticking to fingers).
In a medium bowl, whisk egg and vanille zucker together until well combined. Add the quark and whisk together until incorporated. Pour cheese mixture over crust. Using a spatula, spread the mixture evenly over the base.
For the topping: Place apples in another bowl. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Toss the sliced apples with the sugar mixture until well coated with the sugar mixture. Spread the apples over the quark filling in a circular pattern, starting from the outside and working in a circle, slightly overlapping. Scatter almonds on top.
Bake on middle rack, for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 190°C and continue baking for 25 minutes. Until center set and the sides are golden brown. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool slightly before removing from pan.
Serve warm or wait until cooled completely. Enjoy!
- For this German Apple Torte, I use medium-sized apples, which I peel, quarter, and core, then slice each wedge into 4 pieces. The odd wedge might be only 3 pieces. This size works perfectly for the baking time.
- Depending on the type of spring form you have some butter may leak from crust, so place a sheet of baking paper on the rack below while baking.
- The base of this cake is more similar to soft shortbread, meaning it is not dry and flakey, but rather soft. This is intended as after testing this recipe a number of times, the general consensus was that a softer crust was preferred with the quark and apples, since there is some crunch from the almonds. My testers also think this has the perfect amount of sweetness for an Apfelkuchen. Personally, I prefer a little less in the base, so would reduce that to 1-2 tablespoons, if desired.
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